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Yet, why with those compar'd? What tints so fine,
What sweetness, mildness, can be match'd with thine?
Why roam abroad? since still, to Fancy's eyes,
I see thy lovely form arise!
Still let me gaze, and every care beguile,
Gaze on that cheek, where all the Graces smile;
That soul-expressing eye, benignly bright,
Where meekness beams ineffable delight;
That brow, where Wisdom sits enthron'd serene,
Each feature forms, and dignifies the mien :
Still let me listen, while her words impart
The sweet effusions of the blameless heart;
Till all my soul, each tumult charm’d away,
Yields, gently led, to Virtue's easy sway.
By thee inspir’d, O Virtue, age is
And music warbles from the faltering tongue;
Thy ray creative cheers the clouded brow,
And decks the faded cheek with rosy glow,
Brightens the joyless aspect, and supplies
Pure heavenly lustre to the languid eyes;
Each look, each action, while it awes, invites;
And age with every youthful grace delights.
But when youth's living bloom reflects thy beams,
Resistless on the view the glory streams,
Th'ecstatic breast triumphant Virtue warms,
And beauty dazzles with angelic charms.
Ah, whither fled !-ye dear illusions stay!
Lo! pale and silent lies the lovely clay!
How are the roses on that lip decay'd,
Which health in all the pride of bloom array'd !
Health on her form each sprightly grace bestow'd;
With active life each speaking feature glow'd.
Fair was the flower, and soft the vernal sky;
Elate with hope we deem'd no tempest nigh;
When, lo! a whirlwind's instantaneous gust
Left all its beauties withering in the dust.
All cold the hand that sooth'd Woe's weary head !
All quench'd the eye the pitying tear that shed!
All mute the voice whose pleasing accents stole ;
Infusing balm into the rankled soul !
O Death, why arm with cruelty thy power,
And spare the weed, yet lop the lovely flower ?
Why fly thy shafts in lawless error driven!
Is virtue then no more the care of heaven?
But peace, bold thought! be still, my bursting heart!
We, not Eliza, felt the fatal dart.
'Scap'd the dark dungeon does the slave complain,
Nor bless the hand that broke the galling chain ?
Say, pines not Virtue for the lingering morn,
On this dark wild condemn'd to roam forlorn ?
Where Reason's meteor-rays, with sickly glow,
O’er the dun gloom a dreadful glimmering throw;
Disclosing dubious to th' affrighted eye,
O’erwhelming mountains tottering from on high.
Black billowy seas in storms perpetual tost,
And weary ways in wildering labyrinths lost.
O happy stroke that bursts the bonds of clay,
Darts thro’ the rending gloom the blaze of day,
And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar
Where dangers threat, and fears alarm no more.
Transporting thought! here let me wipe away
The falling tear, and wake a bolder lay;
But ah ! afresh the swimming eye o'ersiows-
Nor check the tear that streams for human woes.
Lo! o'er her dust, in speechless anguish, bend,
The hopeless Parent, Husband, Brother, Friend !
How vain the hope of man!-But cease thy strain,
Nor sorrow's dread solemnity profane;
Mix'd with yon drooping mourners, o'er her bier,
In silence, shed the sympathetic tear.
For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that
are sanctified.-Heb. x, 14.
With blood-but not his own-the awful sign
At once of sin's desert and guilt's remission, The Jew besought the clemency divine,
The hope of mercy blending with contrition. Sin must have death! Its holy requisition
The law may not relax. The opening tomb Expects its prey; mere respite, life's condition;
Nor can the body shun its penal doon. Yet, there is mercy, wherefore else delay
To punish? Why the victim and the rite? But can the type and symbol take away
The guilt, and for a broken law requite? The cross unfolds the mystery.- Jesus died : The sinner lives : the Law is satisfied !
With blood-but not his own—the Jew drew near
The mercy-seat, and Heaven received his prayer. Yet still his hope was dimmed by doubt and fear:
* If Thou shouldst mark transgression, who might dare To stand before Thee? Mercy loves to spare
And pardon : but stern Justice has a voice And cries-Our God is holy, nor can bear
Uncleanness in the people of his choice. But now One Offering, ne'er to be renewed,
Hath made our peace for ever.—This now gives
Free access to the Throne of Heavenly Grace.
No more base fear and dark disquietude.
He who was slain—the Accepted Victim! -lives,
Add intercedes before the Father's face.
WELCOME silence! welcome peace!
O most welcome, holy shade! Thus I prove, as years increase,
My heart and soul for quiet made. Thus I fix my firm belief,
While rapture's gushing tears descend, That every flower and every leaf
Is moral truth's unerring friend. I would not, for a world of gold,
That Nature's lovely face should tire; Fountain of blessings yet untold;
Pure source of intellectual fire! Fancy's fair buds, the germs of song,
Unquickened ”midst the world's rude strife, Shall sweet retirement render strong,
And morning silence bring to life.
Then tell me not that I shall grow
Forlorn, that fields and woods will cloy;
From nature and her changes flow,
Au everlasting tide of joy.
I grant that summer heats will burn,
That keen will come the frosty night;
But both shall please; and each in turn
Yield reason's most supreme delight.
Build'me a shrine, and I could kneel
To rural gods, or prostrate fall;
Did I not see, did I not feel,
That one Great Spirit governs all.
O Heaven permit that I may lie
Where o'er my corpse, green branches wave; And those who from life's tumults fly
With kindred feelings press my grave.
ON A FRIEND WHO DIED AT SEA.
(REV. J. LAWSON, LATE MISSIONARY AT CALCUTTA.]
No mortal eye hath scen thy bed,
No heart conceived where rests thy head,
No thought imagined that repose,
Where the sea forest grows.
But the pervading light of heaven
Is there, and night is deeper driven;
God's eye smiles on thee, where thy tomb,
Low in the ocean's womb,
Hath crystal flowers, not of our earth,
But of the wild sea's secret birth,
To work in pensive growth thy pillow :
The coral is thy willow,
The crisped pale weeds are thy shroud,
The sea-stars thy escutcheon proud,
Salt mosses weave their matted thread
To wrap the holy dead.
Cathedral caverns echo there
The roaring wave's sepulchral prayer,
Or list to catch the fitful swell,
Of the hymn-breathing shell.